We stayed with Henry and Jean for two nights while we checked out Annapolis with Jim, a friend of Jeff's dad. He graduated from the naval academy in '58 so he was a great tour guide filled with a lot of stories about people and places of Annapolis. We went to the Naval Academy museum which was filled with war memorabilia which was no fun to me. Why should we erect a gigantic box to show all the death that has occurred in this country? Upstairs they have a ton of ship models from way back in the day which were made at the same time the ships were (1600's). We had enough of that and got back in the van with Jim to circle the town. Afterwards we went to meet Jim's wife Julia and go to dinner at Grumps! We had some good home cookin'! Jim and Julia were delightful and we are grateful to have been able to meet them! Jim gave us a ride back to Henry and Jean's to stay the night in there heavenly spare bedroom.
After a restful night's sleep at Henry and Jean's, we were treated to another wonderful breakfast by Jean. Then, as if they had not been gracious enough, Jean took us down the road to get back on the trail at annapolis! What amazing, beautiful people!! We walked all day down very busy, very winding, very two lane country roads with no shoulder of course. It was exciting to say the least! Then we finally made it to Bowie, MD. We actually walked right by Darlene's office building and stopped in to say hi, but no one was there. :( So from there we were able to get on to the WB&A rail trail in Bowie. It's a nice paved walking path that cuts through Bowie parallel to HWY 197. At this point my day just goes down hill fast! I started to experience the worst chafing I have ever had in my entire life! It was unbearable. We managed to make it to a little city park were I tried everything we had with us to relieve the pain. Kristin even brought it up to a woman and her kids that was in the park (thanks a lot hunny), and she went home and got me some corn starch. Apparently that is supposed to help, but it just made it burn more. AAhhhh!!! It was awful, but not as bad as the alcohol wipes I tried first! We wound up resting at that park for a little over 2 hours until we just had to move on. It took forever to get 2 more miles down the road to a McDonald's, and I was hurting bad! We got to the McD's and got a cold drink and a cold metal chair. :) So while we were there we got on the internet and found all the churches in the area, and St. Pius the Tenth catholic church and school was about a mile away. We (I) hobbled the mile to the church and we were granted a nice grassy spot behind the baseball field by Mike Jones. He is the priest there. Thank you Mike!!! God Bless you! The last few hundred yards were the most intense, but we made it. We quickly set up the tent and I crashed. We had a very restful sleep and woke up right as rain! Thanks for all of you praying for me.
We went back to thank Mr. Jones and told him a little more about what we were doing and then he prayed over us and sent us on our way. We went back to the McD's to find out where we were going next. While we were there, a nice lady came up to us and asked if we were the couple that camped out behind the catholic church last night. We said yea, but how did you know? Apparently, the Priest was speaking on possessions that morning, and used our story for morning Mass. We were surprised and humbled. It is amazing how God is using us to touch so many people, and we don't have to hardly do anything but get up and walk!! God is AWESOME!!
Since the day before was so tough, we decided to hop on the bus for the 5 or so miles to get to Greenbelt National Park just north of D.C. After an interesting bus adventure we made it to within a mile and a half of the park. We hoofed the rest of the way to the park and then after another 2 miles into the park to the campgrounds, we found a spot to set up our tent. We were glad to have spent those 2 miles on wilderness trail. We actually had to put our hiking boots back on!! Yay!! It was so beautiful. We saw a momma deer with her spotted fawn and lots of pretty birds and squirrels and such. It was a nice brake from the ominous screaming tires and honking trucks of the country roads that's for sure. After setting up camp and taking showers we were ready for bed. It was a few hours until sundown, but we were in bed waiting! Then about 2:00am I woke up with the most horrendous back ache ever. Nothing helped. I tossed and turned, and eventually had to just get up and sit on the picnic table. It was really awful. After Kristin woke up we made Mac-n-cheese with canned chicken and red peppers for breakfast and headed down the road to see D.C. We stashed our packs under the vestibule on our tent so we were light and free!! It felt like we could just run all the way there, even with my back still hurting! So we missed the bus at the stop and went into the TGI Friday's and got a cold beverage and waited for the next bus. Once we caught the bus, we rode it to the Metro Station. From there we hoped on the subway and rode it on into D.C. where we got off to see the Holocaust Museum. When we got there they told us that all the passes had been given out for the permanent exhibit, but we got so see a lot of interesting stuff. It was moving and very sad. What an awful smear in humanity's timeline. We will never forget!! After seeing the museum we had just enough time to catch the rail back to the bus back to Greenbelt National Park. We ate dinner and went to bed.
I woke up with a little less of a back ache, and Kristin had developed one too. So we tidied up our campsite and headed off to church. We had found a little church a few miles away we wanted to visit. So when we reached the exit to the park we hailed a cab and he took us to the church. We arrived just in time for sunday school. It was a small little church with about 15-20 people and our testimony went right along with what they were learning and what the Rev. was preaching that day!! Imagine that! The people there were delightful and they gladly shared their coffee and goodies with us. Yum! The Pastor had us get up and tell our testimony which was good. After church a nice woman named Karen offered to take us back to the Metro Station so we could go back to D.C. Thank you Karen!!! God Bless you!!
So that brings you guys up to speed. Kristin and I surfaced from the subway in Chinatown, D.C. We are at the Starbucks updating and checking emails. We spotted an authentic Indian food restaurant that we might go by and check out. Then it is off to pray in front of the Capitol!! May God Bless the USA!!! Lord knows we need it right?